Startalk is a program funded by the National Security Language Initiative (NSLI) through the National Foreign Language Center (NFLC) at the University of Maryland. Its goals are to increase the number of qualified teachers of the critical languages, defined as Arabic, Chinese, Farsi, Hindi, Portuguese, Russian, Swahili, Turkish, and Urdu, and to increase the numbers of students studying these languages. See for a complete listing and description of all Startalk programs.

Seattle Public Schools has 12 slots available for fluent speakers of the critical languages listed above to take the first 6 credits towards teacher certification in the state of Washington through Pacific Lutheran University’s alternate route program. Coursework will take place during three weeks in July 2011 at school district headquarters, the John Stanford Center for Educational Excellence, located at 2445 3rd Ave. S., Seattle, 98134.

Candidates must be fluent in one of the above languages, hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university, and take the state required WEST B tests of reading, writing and math. In addition, candidates must pass the Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) and the Written Proficiency Test (WPT) for the language they wish to teach.

For the OPI test:

See application instructions.

To register, you will download, print, fill, and mail (or fax) the following three forms:

For the WEST-B:

If your bachelor’s degree is from outside the US, you must have it evaluated by an outside agency for equivalency. Below is listed a nearby evaluation agency:

Foundation for International Services Diane C. Hurley
21540 30th Dr. SE, Suite 320 Director of Evaluations
Bothell, WA 98021

(425) 487- 2245; fax (425) 487-1989
Interested candidates should send a resume to Betty Lau at An interview will be arranged. For more information, contact Betty Lau at the above e-mail address.